Abortion: A Silver Lining in a Disappointing Midterm Election

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Much of the chatter about the outcome of the midterm elections has focused on the Republicans’ disappointing performance. While they are still expected to retake the House, Democrats will likely increase their power over the Senate.

Even further, the GOP will not pick up as many seats as they previously anticipated. In short, there was no red wave. But the results were not wholly negative. After the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Democrats are dead set on codifying the ruling in Congress. Now, it does not appear they will be able to accomplish this feat.

Nevertheless, they are still holding out hope.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), in an interview with Politico, indicated she wants to introduce another bill codifying Roe in Congress to “make sure that every Republican is on the record on abortion.”

However, she does not favor the bill proposed by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). “That thing is so horrible, I don’t want to see it any place except in the bottom of the trash barrel,” she said.

This might be because Warren, like most of her pro-abortion colleagues, supports abortion up to the point of birth. But other Democrats in Congress have read the writing on the wall. Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) suggested that they should focus on preventing Republicans from enacting a national ban on the procedure. She told the news outlet that Democrats should work “to stop any effort to put a national ban in place” and “look for all the ways that we can continue to protect access to abortion care.”

President Joe Biden, in the leadup to the midterms, promised the public that if Democrats retained control of the legislature, they would codify Roe. But now that it is apparent that Republicans will control the House, he has changed his tune. On Monday, he acknowledged that they will not have enough votes to enshrine Roe into federal law.

During a press conference in Bali, Indonesia, he said he doesn’t “think there’s enough votes to codify unless something happens unusual in the House.”

“I think we’re going to get very close in the House,” he continued. “But I don’t think we’re going to make it.”

Reuters reported that “[a]bout three out of 10 voters said abortion was their top concern in deciding how to vote” in the midterms.

As expected, the abortion issue had an impact on the outcome of the elections. This became apparent after the overturning of Roe. But it was not quite as important as concerns over economic matters, crime, education, and topics that voters cited as priorities.

Democrats were able to leverage the issue to great effect during the campaign season. But Republicans wisely went on the offensive instead of remaining on defense. They highlighted the reality that progressives are out of touch with the American public when it comes to late-term abortion. Polling revealed that voters believe the procedure should be legal within the first trimester. But the majority say it should be prohibited in the second and third trimesters.

Republicans who had the wisdom to target Democrats on their extreme abortion positions did well in the midterms. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and senator-elects Ted Budd (R-NC) and J.D. Vance (R-OH) were adamant about frequently pointing out that their opponents were dead set on pushing abortion on demand without limits.

The same applies to Govs. Greg Abbott, Ron DeSantis, Mike DeWine, Brian Kemp, Kristi Noem, Henry McMaster, Kay Ivey, Kim Reynolds, and Kevin Stitt.

For now, abortion will remain an issue that states will have the authority to decide – as it should have been in the first place. This election season should provide a lesson for Republicans going forward because while the pro-abortion lobby is dead in the water right now, they aren’t going to stop trying to make this a federal matter.


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